I'm tempted to give Bertie a new name, now that he has a new home. Bertie sounds too much like "birdie" and that's the word for "bird" that Callie the collie understands. Besides, I'm not sure how to pronounce Bertie in French. [behr-TEE] doesn't sound right.
I've thought about calling the cat Bertrand, but somehow that idea hasn't solidified in my mind. Bertrand [behr-TRÃ] with that final nasal vowel in French, of course. But it seems too formal, too pretentious.
So I'm looking for a bilingual name. I don't have any good candidates at this point. I'm thinking of his black color. French people might like the name Blackie, and it is more or less bilingual these days. What about Charbon? Onyx? Spooky?
We have a pattern going. Or a couple of them. The cat spends the day down in the utility room where the boiler and washing machine are. The door leading from there into the garage is open so that he can explore in there too — and there is quite a bit to explore, since we've stored beds, furniture, rugs, and other things in the garage for the duration of the attic conversion work. The new staircase is in there too. Needless to say, the car is parked outside.
During the night, or early in the morning, I start hearing the cat meow loudly. Then there are noises that sound like he is knocking things over or jumping up on the door that separates the utility room from the entryway downstairs. I think he is jumping up to grab onto the door handle, trying to open the door. I can't be sure, because I haven't actually seen him do it.
Unfortunately for the cat, that door opens inward, into the utility room, and not outward, into the entryway. So he is unlikely to ever get it open. When we hear all those noises during the night, one of us gets up and goes to get the cat. This morning it didn't happen until about 5:00 a.m., but the night before it was at about 1:30. Then the cat spends a few hours sleeping in the bedroom, until we all get up.
He seems content in the bedroom, with people. He meows a little, but he settles down pretty quickly. Callie is oblivious, as far as we can tell. She sleeps in the living room, and the living room doors are closed. There is little chance of a hissing and barking spat in the wee hours of the morning.
The next step in the integration of the cat into our environment is the big one: we have to let him go outside. And we have to trust that he will come back when he wants food, water, and human company. We have to make sure Callie doesn't chase him away for good. She'll have to stay inside for a while longer.